Airsoft Shotgun Shells: How Do They Work? Unveiling the Secrets Behind the Blast!

In the exciting world of airsoft, one of the most thrilling experiences is using shotgun-style weapons. To understand the power behind these airsoft guns, you need to know how their ammunition, the airsoft shotgun shells, work.

Unlike standard airsoft magazines, airsoft shotgun shells are designed to hold multiple BBs in a single shell. This unique design allows you to unleash a spread of BBs with each shot, simulating the experience of using an actual shotgun.

As you dive deeper into airsoft shotgun shells, you’ll discover various types, such as spring-powered or gas-powered shells, which can impact the performance of your airsoft shotgun. Familiarizing yourself with these differences can help you make an informed decision and enhance your airsoft experience.

Understanding Airsoft Shotguns

Airsoft shotguns are famous for players seeking a realistic, close-range combat experience. Though they resemble real shotguns, their function and use in airsoft battles differ significantly. In this section, we’ll dive into the differences between airsoft and real shotguns and how airsoft shotgun shells are designed to work.

Difference Between Airsoft and Real Shotguns

Real shotguns utilize cartridges loaded with pellets or a single projectile. Upon firing, the force of the explosion propels the projectiles down the barrel and towards the target. In contrast, airsoft shotguns use compressed gas, springs, or electric power to propel plastic BBs, eliminating the need for gunpowder and making them safer for recreational use.

To further simulate the feel of a real shotgun, airsoft shotgun shells are loaded with multiple BBs instead of individual slugs. These shells are often made of plastic, and their design allows for effortless reloading during gameplay. When you pull the trigger of your airsoft shotgun, the compressed gas or spring mechanism fires multiple BBs at once, providing a satisfying spread similar to a real shotgun.

The main difference between real and airsoft shotguns is their purpose and ammunition. While real shotguns are designed for hunting, self-defense, or sport shooting, airsoft shotguns cater to a more casual, competitive environment, ensuring your safety and enjoyment during games.

Understanding your shotgun’s components will help you optimize its performance and elevate your gameplay. By grasping the differences between real and airsoft shotguns, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the engineering and design that goes into your sporting equipment, making your airsoft experience all the more enjoyable.

Airsoft Shotgun Shells

Airsoft shotgun shells add a level of realism and excitement to your airsoft gameplay, closely mimicking the design and function of real shotgun shells. Learn about the components, functionality, and compatibility of these realistic and reliable shells to help improve your airsoft experience.

Components and Functionality

Multiple BBs or pellets are housed inside each airsoft shotgun shell in a plastic casing. When fired, the shell propels these BBs in a spread pattern, similar to a real shotgun. This feature provides a unique tactical advantage and can make your gameplay even more immersive.

Airsoft shell mechanics often rely on gas or spring systems for power, with proper loading procedures ensuring smooth and reliable firing. Good maintenance practices are crucial in keeping your shotgun operating efficiently.

Variety and Compatibility

There’s a range of airsoft shotgun shell types, such as green gas, CO2, and spring-powered shells. Be mindful of compatibility, as certain shells only work with specific airsoft shotguns. Check your gun’s specifications to ensure you select the right shells and avoid potential damage or malfunctions.

When it comes to capacity, airsoft shotgun shells usually hold 3 to 30 BBs, with higher capacities offering more firepower at the cost of realism. Ultimately, the choice is yours, so balance your personal preferences while considering the authenticity of your airsoft experience.

Loading and Firing Mechanism

This section will discuss the loading and firing mechanism of airsoft shotgun shells. We’ll cover the magazine system, BB magazine, and pellets.

Magazine System

The magazine system in your airsoft shotgun is designed to hold multiple shells, and these shells are typically loaded into a tube or chamber beneath the barrel. Most airsoft shotguns use a spring-powered system to feed the shells into the firing chamber when you pump the shotgun.

As you pump the shotgun, a shell is moved from the magazine into the chamber, ready to be fired. This creates a realistic and immersive shooting experience for you as a player.

BB Magazine

Each airsoft shotgun shell contains a small BB magazine that holds multiple pellets. When the shell is fired, these pellets are expelled from the shell, simulating the spread of a real shotgun.

Different shotgun shells are available with varying capacities, allowing you to choose the number of pellets that best suit your style of play. Some shells may hold as few as three pellets, while others can hold up to 30 or more.


Airsoft shotgun pellets are typically 6mm plastic BBs. These pellets are lightweight and designed for safe use in airsoft games. However, you can also find shells loaded with other types of pellets, such as rubber or biodegradable BBs.

When selecting pellets for your airsoft shotgun, consider factors like size, weight, and material to ensure the best performance and safety during your games.

Battery and Power Source

As an airsoft enthusiast, you might be curious about how airsoft shotgun shells are powered. Although some airsoft shotguns are spring-powered or gas-powered, we will focus on the battery-powered models in this section.

Your battery-powered airsoft shotgun requires a power source that provides the necessary energy to shoot the pellets. NiMH (Nickel-Metal Hydride) and LiPo (Lithium Polymer) batteries are the most common in airsoft guns. Both have their advantages and disadvantages; let’s have a closer look:

  • NiMH: These batteries are long-lasting, durable, and forgiving when it comes to charging and discharging. However, they are bulkier and offer a lower discharge rate compared to LiPo batteries.
  • LiPo: LiPo batteries are lightweight and offer a higher discharge rate, making them suitable for high-performance airsoft guns. On the downside, they require more maintenance and careful handling to avoid damage.

When choosing a battery for your airsoft shotgun, consider factors like battery size, capacity (measured in mAh), and voltage (typically 7.4V or 11.1V for LiPo batteries). A higher capacity battery will last longer, while a higher voltage battery will provide a stronger power output, resulting in more rapid-fire capability and higher overall performance.

Types of Airsoft Shotguns and Pricing

When it comes to airsoft shotguns, you have several options to choose from. The three main types are spring, gas, and electric (AEG). Each type offers distinct advantages and drawbacks depending on your preferences and budget.

Spring-powered shotguns are the most affordable and easiest to maintain, making them an excellent choice for beginners. Gas-powered shotguns offer more power and realism but require a higher level of maintenance and are generally more expensive. AEG shotguns balance price and performance but are less common than the other two types.

  • Spring-powered: $30-$100
  • Gas-powered: $100-$300
  • Electric (AEG): $150-$400

Disclaimer: These are average price ranges, and specific models may vary.

When considering your budget, remember to factor in the cost of accessories, such as extra shells or protective gear. Spending more upfront often results in a better overall experience and saves you money in the long run.


Airsoft shotgun shells offer an enjoyable and realistic shooting experience. They use spring, gas, or electric systems to propel BBs out of the shell casings. With various designs and types available, you can find the shells that suit your playstyle and preferences.

When selecting airsoft shotgun shells, consider factors like capacity, material, and compatibility with your specific shotgun. By making an informed choice, you can enhance your airsoft gameplay and have more fun on the battlefield. Follow safety guidelines and practice responsible game etiquette.

As an airsoft enthusiast, understanding and mastering shotgun shells can elevate your skills and bring satisfaction to your gameplay. Embrace the challenge and enjoy the adrenaline rush that comes with using airsoft shotgun shells in your games.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do airsoft shotgun shells work?

Airsoft shotgun shells contain multiple BBs loaded with a small CO2 or green gas charge. When you pull the trigger, the gas charge propels the BBs out of the shell, simulating the firing of a real shotgun.

Q. Are airsoft shotgun shells reusable?

Yes, most airsoft shotgun shells are reusable. After you’ve fired them, simply reload them with BBs and gas for continued use. Make sure to maintain your shells to ensure long-lasting performance properly.

Q. What types of shells are available for airsoft shotguns?

Several types of airsoft shotgun shells are available, each with unique features and benefits. Standard shells are one of the most common types of airsoft shotgun shells, and they typically hold 6-8 BBs and use green gas or CO2 as a propellant.

High-capacity shells, on the contrary, can contain more BBs for increased firepower, but they may be less accurate than standard shells. Lastly, 40mm grenade shells are designed for airsoft grenade launchers but can also be used with shotguns.

Q. How do I load airsoft shotgun shells?

Loading airsoft shotgun shells is a simple process.

Fill the shell with BBs by placing them into the designated loading hole. Then, inject your choice of green gas or CO2 into the shell until complete. Depending on the design of your shotgun, insert the shell into the chamber, magazine, or cylinder as instructed.

Q. Can I use any type of BB with my airsoft shotgun?

While various BB types can theoretically be used, it’s recommended to use BBs within the manufacturer’s specified range for optimal performance. This is typically 0.20g to 0.28g BBs for most airsoft shotguns. Always ensure the quality and compatibility of your BBs to prevent damage or malfunction.

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